One of the agenda items on the regular Council meeting is “Correspondence” – that’s letters and emails received by the Town, often asking for support. At Monday’s meeting, Council did decide to support some issues – more below – but a letter from Johnny Percolides got the most attention. He was calling attention to health and safety concerns and the poor reputation Cobourg now has. Mayor Cleveland said that although it seemed nothing was happening, there is in fact action and in due course the public will be advised. Council also passed motions giving final approval to the Strategic Plan, an updated Municipal Grants Policy, developing an MOU with the YMCA and the new Governance structure – but Council spent most time on correspondence.
Correspondence at Council Meeting 23 October
Four of eleven items were received for Information but the others got more attention
11.1 Letter from Township of The Archipelago asking Province to establish regulations for Short Term Rentals – Cobourg will support this.
11.3 Letter from the Town of Wasaga Beach asking the Province to assist with regulating unauthorized car rallies. Councillor Brian Darling said that although Cobourg has car rallies and they have not been a problem – but this time, Cobourg should be proactive and should support this move.
11.4 Letter from Port Hope re establishment of an Ad Hoc committee for Northumberland Municipalities. It was not spelled out what this committee would do but Cobourg is supportive and named Nicole Beatty and Adam Bureau as members.
11.6 Letter from Natasha unhappy with outdoor burning in residential areas. It seems the smoke bothers her and “the fire department and town appear to not care”. However, the Fire Chief said that the matter is resolved and the offending fire would not happen again.
11.7 Letter from Johnny Percolides – details below
11.8 Letter from the Township of McKellar asking the Province to change legislation that now requires notices to be published in local newspapers. Since many have closed down [including in Cobourg], the requirement needs to be changed. Cobourg supports this.
11.9 Letter from the Township of The Archipelago asking the Province to make cigarette manufacturers responsible for pollution by cigarette butts. Cobourg supports this.
Letter from Johnny Percolides
Summary (download full letter – see resources)
- The word on the street these days is not very kind or positive about the Town of Cobourg
- The constant gathering of people downtown in parking lots, bus stop shelters and in the streets everywhere who seem to be doing dangerous illegal drugs in plain sight of kids, the elderly, the tourists and everyone has just become very alarming.
- Having homeless people living in the streets without the use of washroom facilities is really not safe for anyone.
- The people with the hazzmat safety suits who do the cleanup at the encampment site is not something anyone wants to see.
- Are we going to be using the public washrooms at the bus shelter downtown by the skating rink this winter?
- Please tell me that there’s a bigger plan in place for our safety than just waiting for the Province or the Federal government to get involved?
- Can we maybe organize some community volunteer program (like street angels ?) to patrol the streets day and night?
- Can we maybe get the by law officers to enforce the existing loitering by laws mostly in the downtown area, parking lots and the parks?
- People are really afraid to go to the restaurants downtown, to go shopping downtown and to just walk around downtown IN COBOURG
Mayor Cleveland (and other Councillors) said that they have received hundreds of similar emails. And that it’s an ongoing concern. “No-one is burying their head in the sand”. “Reports are coming but they take time – concerns will be addressed in due time”. “We are working towards a compromise”. In response to a question from Councillor Miriam Mutton, Lucas said that maybe it’s time for a message to the public.
Other News on Encampment
Separately (NOTE: this means it’s not related in any way to the Council meeting or Johnny’s letter), a citizens’ group has convened a community meeting (Town Hall) on this subject on November 1 (see poster). They have a web site here https://wearecobourg.ca/. They do not say who is behind it except that this “initiative is a grass roots movement started by a few concerned citizens with no affiliation to any political group, public or private organization, or organized institution”. They say their objective is: “To provide residents with the facts on local issues that affect us all and inform them of what we can do about it.”
- Letter from Johnny Percolides
- Survey for Governance
- Clear description of new Governance – provided by Town but reproduced on Cobourg Internet
- We Are Cobourg – Citizen action group
- Council Meeting Agenda (pdf – html version not working)